It’s important to know what is included in your supplements, and we’re extremely thoughtful about the forms and dosages that we do include. But we’re equally as thoughtful about what we don’t. We get a lot of questions around this, so we wanted to set the record straight. Here are five key ingredients we don’t include in our Prenatal Multi and why.
While Inositol can be beneficial in certain specific cases, we don’t recommend it be taken by all women at all stages of the perinatal journey. Inositol has the potential to lower androgens. Lowering androgens in those with already healthy levels (as is most commonly the case) can be detrimental as healthy androgen levels are critical to egg quality.
Further, when Inositol is included in a prenatal vitamin, the amount included is often not meaningful enough to have an impact for those who could benefit from it.
The bottom line: Instead of including Inositol in our Prenatal Multi for all to take, we recommend supplementing with a meaningful dose only in the specific cases in which it is warranted (e.g., women with PCOS may benefit).
There is no RDA for Boron since an essential biological role for it has not been identified. We are not looking only for essential, but for optimal. Boron has been linked to helping make Vitamin D receptors more efficient, which is helpful! However, Boron is found abundantly in foods and we already consume about a milligram of Boron daily, mostly from fruit and vegetables. In addition, we are otherwise unintentionally taking in Boron in drinking water or through other means as it is used regularly in glass, detergents, and agriculture. At high doses, Boron has been found to be a developmental and reproductive toxin in animals.
The bottom line: We avoid Boron in supplement form as we can get enough naturally, and too much can be problematic.
While Iron is most certainly necessary during pregnancy, it is best taken away from other nutrients as it can impair their absorption. We also recommend taking only as much as you need (some mamas do not need to supplement), as too much supplemental Iron can generate oxidative stress and alter the gut microbiome.
Our Iron is in the form Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate. It's a mineral chelate in which Iron is bound to two Glycine amino acid molecules. It is easily absorbed by the body and, unlike most other Iron forms, it minimizes constipation and gastric upset. Our convenient 13.5mg dosing allows you to take only as much as you need, scaling up and down throughout your perinatal journey as needed.
The bottom line: We recommend taking Iron away from our Prenatal Multi, as Iron can interact negatively with other nutrients. We also recommend taking it only as needed. Talk to your health practitioner about testing your Iron status before, during, and after pregnancy, and supplement only if you are falling short.
Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) are critical for mama and baby’s brain health and development, but we do not recommend that they are included within a prenatal vitamin. This is because Omega-3 fatty acids can easily be damaged (oxidized) by light, heat, and air. Packaging Omega-3s with other nutrients increases the likelihood that the product will oxidize. A damaged or oxidized Omega-3 can potentially cause more harm than good.
Due to the delicate nature of Omega-3s, and our commitment to quality and transparency, we test every batch of our Omega-3+ through third parties that test for quality, nutritional content, pesticides and herbicides, heavy metals, microbes, allergens, and other contaminants.
The bottom line: Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are critical to mama and baby’s health and development, but they oxidize easily and quality is key, so we offer them separately.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant found in every cell of the body. It is needed in the preconception phase to support egg and sperm quality. While CoQ10 is important during preconception, it isn’t necessarily needed to take during pregnancy. Most prenatals that include CoQ10 include a small amount that is not optimal for optimally influencing egg and sperm health.
Our CoQ10 is in the active, antioxidant form Ubiquinol, which accounts for over 90% of the CoQ10 in the body.
The bottom line: CoQ10 is helpful in the preconception phase, but not necessarily needed throughout all of pregnancy and postpartum. We offer our CoQ10 separately in a supportive dose that has been studied for safety and efficacy.
Other ingredients to avoid
There are a number of other ingredients that we avoid, like additives, fillers, and so-called “whole food” ingredients. For more on these, check out our What to Look for in a Prenatal Guide.